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Is it Legal? Managing Legal Risks while Working with Legal to Build a Flexible Social Media Policy



Social media is a double-edged sword. It offers a wealth of opportunities for greater connection and communication, with your customers and among your employees. It can help you recruit and retain the best employees. It can be a source for new ideas and innovations that are the lifeblood of growth. But social media also poses unprecedented new risks and challenges for your business. It can expose you to legal liability. It can drain productivity. And it even allows a wayward employee to harm your reputation irreparably with the push of a button.

This has become the decade of social media, and it is only poised to increase in importance and influence. Social media permeates every aspect of today's HR. Yet, according to recent surveys, there exists a vast disconnect between employees and employers around the issues of trust and privacy in the workplace. Nevertheless, despite these divergent viewpoints between employees and management, corporate America is embracing the value of social media.

With the growing importance of social media to American businesses, one would expect most to have a social media policy to guide employees' online activities and temper expectations of appropriate and inappropriate uses. Shockingly, though, one report found that only 29% of American companies have a formal policy regarding employee use of social networking sites. If most of your employees are interacting via this technology, how can you afford not to understand the risks and protect your business? Simply put, your business cannot afford not to understand this evolving medium and the legal risks it presents.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • What is (and is not) appropriate online fodder for evaluating candidates?
  • How to regulate the proper use of social media by employees (both on and off duty).
  • For what reasons you can terminate employees for their online activities.
  • How to define who owns corporate social media accounts used by your employees.
  • How to avoid the dangerous traps the NLRB is laying for the unwary and uninformed employer.
  • Social media is a double-edged sword. It offers a wealth of opportunities for greater connection and communication, with your customers and among your employees. It can help you recruit and retain the best employees. It can be a source for new ideas and innovations that are the lifeblood of growth. But social media also poses unprecedented new risks and challenges for your business. It can expose you to legal liability. It can drain productivity. And it even allows a wayward employee to harm your reputation irreparably with the push of a button.

    This has become the decade of social media, and it is only poised to increase in importance and influence. Social media permeates every aspect of today's HR. Yet, according to recent surveys, there exists a vast disconnect between employees and employers around the issues of trust and privacy in the workplace. Nevertheless, despite these divergent viewpoints between employees and management, corporate America is embracing the value of social media.

    With the growing importance of social media to American businesses, one would expect most to have a social media policy to guide employees' online activities and temper expectations of appropriate and inappropriate uses. Shockingly, though, one report found that only 29% of American companies have a formal policy regarding employee use of social networking sites. If most of your employees are interacting via this technology, how can you afford not to understand the risks and protect your business? Simply put, your business cannot afford not to understand this evolving medium and the legal risks it presents.

    In this session, attendees will learn:

  • What is (and is not) appropriate online fodder for evaluating candidates?
  • How to regulate the proper use of social media by employees (both on and off duty).
  • For what reasons you can terminate employees for their online activities.
  • How to define who owns corporate social media accounts used by your employees.
  • How to avoid the dangerous traps the NLRB is laying for the unwary and uninformed employer.

  • Session Presented By:

    Jonathan Hyman
    Partner, Author of Ohio Employer’s Law Blog and "Think Before You Click: Strategies for Managing Social Media in the Workplace"
    Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz in Cleveland